Category Archives: Spring

Spring and Easter in Rincón


Posted by Cassie

In Puerto Rico because it is a tropical environment, many people think that there are not seasons. This is not exactly accurate. While it does stay between 75-85 degrees F year round there are still subtle changes. Because we work outside a lot and we live in a cabin in the middle of the jungle we notice these changes perhaps a bit more than some people. For one thing, many of the plants begin to flower in preparation for fruiting in the summer. One of my favorite flowering plants are the robles (Tabebuia rosea). For about one month these trees add a rose colored hue to everything including the ground! It is like living in a pink snow globe especially when you see them softly twirl to the ground.

Cassie with flowers
The trees and I are pink!

Carpet of robles
Roll out the pink carpet!

Turkeys
Turkeys enjoying the changing colors of spring

Rambutan flowers
The rambutan are already flowering! Let’s hope they form fruit!

GrosellasLike this grosella

Papaya markings
The papaya and bananas are constantly producing! I love the way this trunk looks like ancient carving

I think all plants are beautiful in a certain way, but not all of them are friendly! We have been working on clearing around the cabin and replanting with fruiting trees and ornamentals. In doing so we have to clear out some pretty mean and nasty stuff like the Puerto Rican poison ivy they call Carrasco that no matter how careful I am, I always somehow manage to get on me. About 2 days after this happens I swell up really bad and start itching uncontrollably. Then my skin erupts in a pus-y mess and then finally scabs over. It is not fun!

Carrasco berries
Spring for the Carrasco plant too! Here is its flower/berry

Another mean plant are the wild bromeliads. While beautiful they have the most vicious spikes on them. I have many pokes and stings from these bad boys. They are very difficult to eradicate from an area. We just threw them over the fence line. They would make a good living fence because no one would want to walk through these!

Bromeliad Spikes
Wild bromeliad and its thorny weaponry

Side yard
Side of the cabin that we cleared of bromeliads and other brush and have begun to replant

When we’re not enjoying spring in the jungle, we have been out with friends at various events including the Stand Up Paddleboard race, and Spring/Easter parties. The 2017 tourist season was a little slow, but that doesn’t mean the partying was. One thing about living in Rincón (and I think Puerto Rico in general) is that there is never a shortage of parties! It’s a good-time island. We have to consciously choose which events to go to and which not because we’ll never get anything done around the property otherwise!

Villa Cofresi
Villa Cofresí and her famous piratas during the SUP contest

Logan Britton Chris Karen C B Sage
Fun times with friends!

On Easter weekend we went to a friend’s farm in Aguada and set up a campground. We sang songs around the campfire and toasted marshmellows and relaxed. The fireflies came out and danced alongside us. It was truly magical!

Road to Toms jungle
Road through the woods to the campsite

Camp in jungleCampsite by day

Camping
And by night (thanks Daisy for this pic)

Easter we had a wonderful time with a variety of friends!

Van Ees
The Van Ees

Slip n slide (2) Easter chicken
So much fun! Slip-sliding away…even with chickens!

Cassie and Britton easter
¡Felices Pascuas!

Beach party
And another party at the beach!

So yes, there is a spring in Puerto Rico even if it isn’t quite as pronounced as up north. Everything is in bloom, the birds and insects start mating more, the rains begin to come more regularly, the temperature and humidity go up a little and the ocean warms up just a bit. In Rincón the northern tourists leave and the local Puerto Rican tourists start arriving. I hope we can continue playing music through this summer, but if not, come check us out at our next show this Saturday at Willie’s Bar and Grill in the marina!

Rincon Continentals poster
Rincón Continentals Live

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Birthday Bubble Bash!


Posted by Cassie

RC-WILLIE-1

Our new “career” in the limelight continues to grow and I love it. I have always been a ham ever since I was a kid (just ask my mom) and having the time and energy to really cultivate a creative expression has been one facet of our new life that I didn’t exactly expect, but hope continues.

RC Black and White

Recently we’ve had some great shows with our band including a Birthday Bubble Bash complete with a cake to dance inside, bubbles, real cake, balloons and lots of fun to celebrate our guitar player’s birthday. His nickname is Shampoo, so the bubbles were a special touch just for him.

Mark Happy Birthday
Happy birthday Shampoo!

One of our new songs to the set list was “These Boots are Made for Walking” by Nancy Sinatra, so I channeled her in my look. It is so fun to dress up. Around here (in Aguada specifically) there are all sorts of stores that carry the weirdest, most awesome clothes (costumes)! It took me some time to find the boots, however! In Puerto Rico, not many people wear full size boots to the knees (for good reason in this heat). I searched all over and finally found a pair in the children’s section of Shoe Carnival. Good thing I have small feet! :-)

Cassie body crop
These boots are made for dancing!

Cake Making Cassie Sandra
Behind the scenes: Making of the cake!

We also stopped by Rafucci Gas for a huge cardboard box to make the dancing cake and spent the morning of the show hanging out in the Harbor area with friends making the funny thing.

Cake with Lydia and Sandra
With the cake at the show!

The show was a success! It’s so much more exciting to play for a crowd of dancing people than for just a handful of people, or disinterested people. Remember that if you go out to see live music! You are part of the success of the show! Audience engagement and support makes all the difference: the band plays harder, better, longer and it’s just plain more fun! And really, that’s what it should be about. We are the vibe magicians, and our vibe is fun! So if you’re out dancing, clapping, and moving, we feel it and the vibe amplifies!

RC crew  Willies dancing
What a fun night (thanks to Daisy for these pics)

Our next show is tomorrow night again at WIllie’s Bar and Grill with the theme of Flower Power! Just wait till you see my outfit for that one! If you’re in town, come out and dance! It’ll be groovy, man, especially if you come dressed as a hippie! ;-)

RC-WillFlowerTab
FAR OUT! FLOWER POWER!

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Around the Finca in Photos: March/April 2016


Posted by Cassie

It’s springtime in Puerto Rico and that means lots of life and new activity around our farm. Here’s a few fun recent photos of the homestead.

Leghorn and chicks
Two clutches of new chicks!

Wall construction
Building a wall and enclosing the lower area of the cabin with turkey inspectors

Torch Ginger
Our first red torch ginger!

Mulberries and miracle fruit
Mulberries and miracle fruit are fruiting like crazy (and tamarind too)!

Esperanza bug strange sights
Katydid AKA esperanza bug. So cool. I found hope at our finca. (Esperanza means “hope” in Spanish)

Heliconia
New heliconia flowers too!

Cabin
Cabin is really shaping up

Iguana Neck strange sight
This iguana’s neck display is pretty crazy!

Ginger and sky
Shell ginger

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Spring Update at La Finca


Posted by Britton

We figured it might be a good time to post some updates on the progress we have made on various projects that we’ve written about.  Looking back it becomes apparent that we have made quite a bit of progress!

Gateway now
Overgrown -Shortly after we moved here

Cleared
Cut Way Back -Now

There are quite a few royal palms, mango and almond trees hidden in the background that we are still working to uncover.  Huge beautiful trees that are simply buried by all the growth.  Below is a picture of a small royal we finally got to after taking down countless other trees that sprung up over the years.

Logs
Small Royal Palm

The area that is over grown is super cool to walk around because you get inside the jungle and under the canopy.  We aren’t going to continue cutting down too much further except to expose some of these hidden gems.  We want to keep the forest in tact as much as possible and make pathways thru it, plus some plants and trees we want to grow thrive on the shade.  The turkeys will like it there too.

Jungle Path
Path Into the Forest

Jungle
Shaded Area

Turn the sound up to hear all the birds/sounds!

The gardens we have planted all seem to be doing pretty good.  The lettuce is doing well and we’ve been able to start eating it.  The giant pumpkins we planted are flowering and growing all over the place.  The amaranth is just now starting to take off and the corn seems to like it here.  Pretty much everything is growing that we have tried.

Amaranth
Amaranth

Cilantro
Cilantro

Corn
Pop Corn

Romaine
Romaine Lettuce

Pumpkin Flower
Pumpkin Flower

Lime Tree
Limes on our New Tree

Jobo Blossoms
Jobo Blossoms

Peanut
Peanuts

We also finished up the coop and moved all the chickens into it.  They have lots of room.  Cassie and I also decided to build a porch on the front so we can sit down after working in the yard.  It is nice to have somewhere flat and shaded to park some chairs.  We’ve gone full hillbilly.  I just need a banjo.

Coop Front
Porch on the coop

Coop Side
Side view

Almost all of the chickens are doing good.  I say almost because there was one incident where our little friend Mohawk got taken by…A hawk.  Maybe we should have named her “Lesshawk”? Polish hens are well known as being ‘hawk bait’ because they have poor eyesight especially from above.

We had been letting the chicks out and they were foraging for food behind the coop.  We were sitting on the deck and out of nowhere a large red tailed hawk swooped down at the chicks.  Most of them ran, but poor Mohawk didn’t run.  Mohawk: “Huh, where did everybody go?”

Lesson learned.  It’s too soon to let them out.

I think the hawk is going to be the most formidable opponent to our chickens.  We want to let our roosters grow up as we have read that while a red tailed hawk might attack a full sized hen, it would have to eat it on the ground.  The roosters would attack the hawk.  So it might be a deterrent.  The other option is to make a chicken run but we really want to free range them.  We hope that when the chickens are full size, the hawks won’t prey on them (often).  I might need to scare them off with some firecrackers and other assorted toys (R/C airplane?).

We did get a few roosters and one that is a Jersey Giant and should grow to 10lbs +.  Google them, they are HUGE birds.  I mean…Huge.  Hopefully it isn’t too mean to us..lol.

Chicks Chillin
Chicks Roosting in the Coop (Chicken guessers, what breed is the front chicken?(hint: 5 toes)

All in all things are shaping up as we planned and we are having a lot of fun in the process.  We have lots of mangoes falling on the roof of the cabana and can’t wait until they are fully ripe so we can start eating them!  Spring in the tropics is much like the warmest days back in CO except that you will never be surprised by a random winter blizzard.

We bought a lawn mower to help keep things under control.  I do think I’ll need a riding mower someday but we will see how it goes.
Mower

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